How Research Gets Used in Policy Debates--The Case of Charter Schools
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
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1. The New York Times/AFT Charter School Controversy
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August 17, 2004, was a warm day in Washington, D.C., the temperature in the eighties, the tail end of an unusually cool and wet summer, the time of year that political activists, public officials, and journalists sometimes refer to as the summer doldrums. For the rest of the year...
2. Informed Democracy: An Ideal and Its Skeptics
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The idea that wise governance should be guided by science has deep roots. Some would trace them to the founding of the nation. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and others who set the country on its course were, by almost all accounts, wise statesmen who framed their...
3. How Cool Research Gets in Hot Waters: Privitization, School Choice, and Charter Schools
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Those who labor in the fields of social science and education research are accustomed to laboring in obscurity. The 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, held in San Francisco between April 7 and April 11, included 1,946 substantive panels, at which 8,361 scholars presented papers and 12,444 researchers—including...
4. Research in the Public Eye:Personalization, Polarization,and Politicization
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In 1991, when Minnesota put into place the nation’s first charter school law, charter schooling was a little more than a notion. The notion was that schools would perform better if held accountable for results than constrained by bureaucratic regulations about process. This simple notion...
5. Research Outside the Spotlight: Accumulation, Convergence, Contingency
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The public face of charter school research is not a pretty one. Advocates at each extreme wave studies to support their position and claim that their opponents are willfully perverting the canons of social science methodology to mislead the public and gain higher political ground...
6. Follow the Money: The Role of Funding in the Politicization of Education Research
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We have been wrestling with a puzzle. Research has been converging on an understanding of charter schools that provides a mixed, nuanced, and somewhat complicated picture; one that does not fit neatly into the simple narratives of the political right or political left. The public...
7. How Research Reaches the Public Ear: Old Media and New
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Other things were happening on August 16, 2004, the day before the New York Times ran its front page story on the AFT charter school report. Here is a sampling of the stories the Times ran deeper in the paper on August 17. On page 10, it reported that an American journalist had...
8. Can the Ideal of Informed Democracy Be Revived?
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Bad news and good news are intertwined in this story. The bad news is that the idealized vision of knowledge and democracy is once again shown to be naïve. The Progressives believed that expertise and democracy could be neatly apportioned, each to its own realm. Democracy...
Appendix 1. List of Those Interviewed
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Appendix 2. Diana Jean Schemo, "Charter Schools Ttrail in Results, U.S. Data Reveals, "New York Times (Late Edition, East Coast), August 17, 2004, p. A1
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Appendix 3. "Charter School Evaluation Reported by The New York Times Fails to Meet Professional Standards"
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Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2008